Rosin The Bow jig

Also known as The Boys Of Kilmichael, Catalpa, Kilcash Or Caoine Cill Cháis, Old Rosin The Beau, Old Rosin The Bow, Rosin The Beau, Rosin The Bow (#99).

There are 13 recordings of a tune by this name.

Rosin The Bow has been added to 118 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: Rosin The Bow
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
D|GAG BAG|Bcd efg|dBG GAB|"tr" E3-E2 D|
GAG BAG|Bcd efg|dBG AGA|G3 G2:|
|:B/2c/2|dBd dBd|g2 e g2 e|dBG GAB|E3-E2 D|
GAG BAG|Bcd efg|1dBG AGA|G3 G2:|2baf agf|g3 g2||
ABC
X: 2
T: Rosin The Bow
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
D|GFG BAG|d3 efg|dBG GAB|E3- E2D|
GFG BAG|d3 efg|dBG ABA|G3- G2:|
|:B/c/|dBd def|g2e g2e|dBG GAB|E3- E2D|
GFG BAG|d3 efg|dBG ABA|G3- G2:|
ABC
X: 3
T: Rosin The Bow
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
E|A2B cBA|~e3~f2a|ecA ABc|FAF (~F2E)|
A2B cBA|e3f2a|ecA BcB|ABA A3:|
|c|:efe efg|aba agf|ecA ABc|FAF (~F2E)|
|1efe efg|aba agf|ecA BcB|ABA A3c:|
|2A2B cBA|e3f2a|ecA BcB|ABA A3|]

From the playing of CB fiddler Alex Francis MacKay.
ABC

Twenty-one comments

Rosin the Bow

I came across this tune on Trillian (http://trillian.mit.edu/~jc/cgi/abc/tunefind) and was surprised to find it wasn’t already here. I think this posted version may be actually called "Rosin the Bow (#99)".

Comments included on Trillian:
"The name "Rosin the Bow" has clung to the writer’s memory since childhood, and the tune, like the song about "Old Rosin the Bow" (a nickname for the fiddler) may have passed into oblivion, had not the melody been fortuitously found recently in a faded miscellaneous manuscript collection long discarded by Sergt. James O’Neill. A version of it I find is printed in Joyce’s "Old Irish Folk Music and Songs - 1909"."

Perhaps someone familiar with the tune could confirm which is the most common or popular version of the tune.

Isn’t this a morris tune? I’ve never heard it in an Irish session anyway. It’s in Pete Loud’s book as Rosin The Beau, and has also been recorded on a few albums with that spelling. The version in the book is as follows:

X: 1
T: Rosin The Beau
S: Pete Loud’s Collection
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
R: jig
K: Gmaj
D|GFG BAG|d3 efg|dBG GAB|E3- E2D|
GFG BAG|d3 efg|dBG ABA|G3- G2:|
|:B/c/|dBd def|g2e g2e|dBG GAB|E3- E2D|
GFG BAG|d3 efg|dBG ABA|G3- G2:|

Clancys

The Clancy Brothers certainly recorded it, and possibly the Dubliners, so it’s probably got more right to be here than many of the other recently posted tunes. I do remember hearing a song sung to this tune about the discovery of a condom made out of animal skin, which belonged to Brian Boru - true !
[ True that I heard the song, that is. ]

Posted by .

Good one

One of my favorites, but I ve only heard it once at an Irish session and it was in 3/4. From my understanding it is a very old tune with scattered history among North American musicians and of course England… some Irish… from the fiddler’s companion:

Bayard (1981) notes the air was known to most fiddlers, fifers, and singers in Pennsylvania, as in many parts of the country. He identifies a melody by James Oswald which appears in his 2nd Collection (1740’s, pg. 25) as a 6/8 "Gigg," that is extremely close to "Rosin," and he wonders if this was the ancestral tune for the air, or if Oswald himself was influenced by an older air. Further, he says a tune called "Dumfries House" in Gow’s Complete Repository (3rd Ed., Part I, pg. 13) ascribed to John Riddle has a 2nd strain that equals "Rosin the Beau," and a Welsh harp tune in Bennett’s Alawon fy Ngwlad also is quite close. The Fleishchmann index (1998) gives that the tune was derived from a 17th century Irish tune in 6/4 meter called "On the Cold Ground;" that tune, however, is English, attributed to Matthew Lock from the play The Rivals.

When I lived near some civil war battlefields… Sharpsburg and Gettysburg, I noticed this tune was done a lot by civil war reenactors as a 3/4 with words.

Thanks for the info Kenny. Now I don’t have to be scared by it ;-)

I know the song Kenny is referring to!

I’ve traveled all over this world,
And now to another I go.
And I know that good quarters are waiting
To welcome old Rosin the Beau.

To welcome old Rosin the Beau. (x2)
And I know that good quarters are waiting
To welcome old Rosin the Beau.

When I’m dead and laid out on the counter
A voice you will hear from below,
Saying "Send down a hogshead of whisky
To drink with old Rosin the Beau.

To drink with old Rosin the Beau". (x2)
Saying "Send down a hogshead of whisky
To drink with old Rosin the Beau".

Then get a half dozen stout fellows
And stack them all up in a row
Let them drink out of half gallon bottles
To the memory of Rosin the Beau

To the memory of Rosin the Beau (x2)
Let them drink out of half gallon bottles
To the memory of Rosin the Beau

Then get a half dozen stout fellows
And let them all stagger and go
And dig a great hole in the meadow
And in it put Rosin the Beau.

And in it put Rosin the Beau. (x2)
And dig a great hole in the meadow
And in it put Rosin the Beau.

Then get ye a couple of bottles.
Put one at me head and me toe.
With a diamond ring scratch upon ‘em
The name of old Rosin the Beau.

The name of old Rosin the Beau. (x2)
With a diamond ring scratch upon ‘em
The name of old Rosin the Beau.

I feel that old tyrant approaching,
That cruel remorseless old foe,
And I lift up me glass in his honour.
Take a drink with old Rosin the Beau.

Take a drink with old Rosin the Beau. (x2)
And I lift up me glass in his honour.
Take a drink with old Rosin the Beau.

Clancy Brother’s Rosin the Beau

Thanks Dafydd, that’s the song I’m familiar with which we all sang back in the sixties - I think it was Tom Clancy who used to sing it in their concerts and what a mighty job he made of it.

So was Rosin the Beau someone’s nickname, then?

Rosin the Bow

When Ireland lay broken and bleeding - Hooray for ‘The ‘Men of the West’. Sung to that tune. We use to do it first as a waltz and then turn it into a jig
I have an LP in my collection from the 1970s ‘Rosin the Bow’ a collection of different fiddle styles by various artists (Is the Rosin for the bow spelt that way)
For you Kenny - Do you know what I’m going to tell ye - It’s nearly too good to be true - T’was an ancient old Irish french letter, a relict of Brian Boru. (Not being a singer, I recited it at a party last week)

Whoa, that’s trippy. Quite by coincidence I learnt Rosin the Beau earlier today (it gets played occasionally at our largely-English sessions) then came to see if there was anything on it on the Yellow Board and find it was only posted here yesterday. Whatever next?! :)

Mairtin, I see you are from Perth/Fremantle, so it’s worth mentioning that "Rosin the Bow" in 3/4 is used for the song "Catalpa", about the escape of Fenian prisoners in 1876 on a US whaler on a mission organised by John Boyle O’Reilly who had escaped from WA two years previously:
Come all you screw warders and gaolers
Remember Perth Regatta Day
And take care of the rest of your Fenians
or the Yankees will steal them away
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalpa_rescue

Posted by .

From “Mudcat Cafe” - author unknown

THE ANCIENT AND OLD IRISH CONDOM
(Celtic Pride)

(Tune: "Rosin the Beau")

I was up to me arse in the muck, Sir,
With a peat contract down in the bog
When me shovel it struck something hard, Sir,
That I thought was a rock or a log

‘Twas a box of the finest old oak, Sir,
‘Twas a foot long, and four inches wide
And not giving a damn for the Fairies
I just took a quick look inside

Now I opened the lid of this box, Sir,
And I swear that my story is true
T’was an ancient and old Irish condom
A relic of Brian Boru

‘Twas an ancient and old Irish condom
‘Twas a foot long, and made of elk hide,
With a little gold tag on it’s end, Sir,
With his name, rank, and stud fee inscribed

Now, I cast me mind back thru the ages
To the days of that horny old Celt
With his wife lyin’ by on the bed, Sir,
As he stood by the fire in his pelt

And I thought that I heard Brian whisper
As he stood in the fire’s rosy light
"Well, you’ve had yer own way long enough, dear…
‘Tis the hairy side outside, tonight."

Posted by .

Kenny - Ref’ the recitation, I never fail to be amazed by how the words in some of these old recitations or songs are changed to suit a particular audience. Your version seems to be Americanised. The Irish version as I learnt it many moons ago is as follows:- (as done in a West of Ireland accent)
I was up to my oxters (sometime b…icks is used) in peat moss on a turf contract down in the bog
When me shline it hit something hard Sir, like a shtick or a shtone or a log.
T’was a chest of the finest bog oak sir, and I wondered just what it could hide
So taking a chance with the fairies, I just took a peek inside.
Do you know what I’m going to tell ye, it’s nearly too good to be true
T’was an ancient auld Irish french letter, a relict of Brian Boru
Aye, an ancient auld Irish french letter, made of Elk hide, about 12 inches tall, with a kinda Monk’s Caul on the top sir, and stud fees and rubies and all
And me mind it went back through the ages to the day of that fiery Celt
With Gráinne stretched out on the bed sir, and Brian standing there in his pelt.
And he looking all starry eyed sir, and he says ‘Stop your muckin’ about
You had your own way the last night, tonight its the hairy side out.

I have a recording of Seamus Ennis reciting this (fairly close to but not quite the same as the last version above) during a tionol. He didn’t do it to any tune.

Posted .

To the tune of The Girl I Left Behind Me

In days of old,when knights were bold
And condoms weren’t invented
They wrapped old socks around their cocks
and had to be contented

There is a West Cork song by the name of The Boys of Kilmichael which is sung to the same air. I have the words somewhere. I’ll send them on later (I dont sing therefore I dont keep lyrics in the old grey matter).

Posted by .

Rosin the Bow

Spider John Koerner does a song to this tune ."Acres of Clams":
a northwest American folksong written by Francis Henry in 1874. Done by Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Spider John, and others…

Song Catalpa

Tune is used for the song "Catalpa" about the rescue of Fenian prisoners from West Australia in 1876.